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Kapa Haka Collaborators Launch New Music in Māori


Kapa Haka Collaborators Launch New Music in Māori

Keen kapa haka competitors Aamomai Pihama, Selwyn Tepania, Hemi Peke, Atarangi Putamainu and Ani-Piki Tuari have pooled talents to produce a contemporary pop and R’n’B album entirely in the Māori language.

Supported by the Māori broadcasting funding agency, Te Māngai Pāho, the self-titled debut album – ‘MANEA’ – is a collection of 10 Māori language songs by Amomai (producer, lyricist and lead vocals), Selwyn (melody composer and lyricist), Hemi (lyricist and lead vocals), Atarangi (lyricist and support vocals) and Ani-Piki (melody arranger and support vocals).

As members of Manea, the five friends from Auckland draw on a range of skills and experiences as live performers, journalists, radio broadcasters and television producers. Their main motivation, however, is a commitment to creativity and excellence in the Māori language which was nurtured during their school years together at a kura kaupapa Māori (Māori immersion school) in west Auckland.

Amomai and Hemi are former members of Māori pop group Aria where their interest in contemporary Māori music was first fostered along with their aspirations to produce a Māori language album. For the past nine years, four of the Manea ensemble – Amomai, Selwyn, Hemi and Atarangi – have been members of traditional Māori performing arts troop Ngā Tūmanako.

Selwyn became the youngest composer of lyrics and music in the history of the prestigious Te Matatini National Kapa Haka Festival when Ngā Tūmanako performed his choral composition at last year’s Māori performing arts competition. Meanwhile, the fifth member of Manea, Ani-Piki, is an active participant in rival kapa haka group Whāngārā-Mai-Tawhiti from the East Coast.

Now the kapa haka exponents are on a mission to top the charts with their debut album.

Amomai says the contemporary tunes on ‘MANEA’ with be a source of new material for the iwi radio network and their listeners. It is also hoped that the songs will have an even wider appeal beyond Māori radio to audiences worldwide with an appetite for well-crafted Māori language music.

“Our music speaks openly and honestly about the different facets of life – from love to overcoming adversity to simple pleasures such as a good night out with friends,” explains Amomai. “The intention is to make music that appeals to many different people by providing something for them to relate to.”

‘MANEA’ is distributed by Ode Records ( and available on iTunes (, Amplifier ( and in stores from Monday 24 February 2014.


Hei Tiripou Mōku
E Rua, E Rua
He Pō Nui Te Whai
Kōripo, Whētuki
Tākina He Kawa
Kia Māoriori
Kei Muri Pea
Taku Tamāhine
He Kuru Pounamu
Taku Tamaiti


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